Heroes of Grassroots Football

Staffordshire FA announce winners of 2019 FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards

Over the past month, Staffordshire FA has been presenting its 2019 FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards to the individuals and organisations in Staffordshire who dedicated everything to making grassroots football the best it can possibly be during the 2018/19 season. 
After nominations were submitted by clubs, leagues, schools and other local organisations, a judging panel assessed the nominations whilst taking into consideration The FA’s PRIDE values of Progression, Respect, Inclusion, Determination and Excellence.

13 awards were handed out in total, with each winner being congratulated with their award in person by a member of the Staffordshire FA team. 

Coach of the Year – Mike Mycroft

Mike was named Coach of the Year in recognition for his outstanding commitment to developing the boys and girls at Lane Head FC.

Volunteer of the Year – Barry Smith

This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award was handed to Barry Smith, due to his incredible dedication to Rocester FC. He has been involved with the club over many decades and dedicates a huge amount of his time to grassroots football.

Supporter of the Year – Frank Heseltine

Frank, a Bilston Town FC supporter, is well known across West Midlands non-league football. Not only is he hugely dedicated to the Bilston club (and other local clubs), but his eye-catching homemade outfits also regularly catch the eye. 

Match Official of the Year – Andy Martin

Andy has been instrumental in the success of a number of recreational football projects, in addition to providing excellent mentoring support to new officials throughout the county.

Rising Star of the Year – George Taylor

As well as progressing as a referee, George has supported Staffordshire FA on a number of projects and has been an absolute pleasure to work with.

Grounds Team of the Year – Andy Salt

Having dedicated huge amounts of time over the past few seasons to Trubshaw Cross FC, Andy and his team of fellow volunteers have worked incredibly hard to improve the 10 pitches at the site.

Lifetime Achievement – Jeff Vernall

Jeff was given his award after delivering over 20 years of coach education, positively impacting on thousands of coaches across Staffordshire.  

Lifetime Achievement – David Vale

Much like Jeff, David has spent many years contributing to grassroots football in Staffordshire. He’s been involved for over 40 years and has become a cornerstone of the league. 

Grassroots Coach Mentoring Award – Paul Clowes

Paul won this award for his extensive support to grassroots coaches in the area, having been an FA Coach Mentor for five years. He has worked with a number of clubs across Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-On-Trent, whilst continuing to support teams at Leek Town for the past eight years.

Charter Standard Club of the Year – Stoke Town FC

Stoke Town FC was named Charter Standard Club of the Year at the recent Coors League meeting. They are an adult club, linked to a junior section and have also collaborated with the North Staffs Mind Charity, raising the profile of important mental health issues. 

Grassroots League of the Year – Walsall Junior Youth Football League

Year after year, the WJYFL has continued to grow and now caters for over 5,000 players, ensuring the opportunity for all children to play is there.

Community Project of the Year – Black Country Fusion FC

Black Country Fusion FC continues to promote inclusion throughout the club by providing an LGBTQ+ friendly environment and ensuring football is For All.

Respect Project of the Year – Cheadle South Moorlands United FC

Cheadle South Moorlands United have developed a fantastically innovative idea to support the FA Respect programme and raise awareness of Respect within the club.

Staffordshire FA Chief Executive Officer, Adam Evans, said: “These annual awards are in place to recognise the fantastic work that is carried out by thousands of grassroots football volunteers, who are out on the side lines week in week out, come rain or shine, giving up their time so that others can play the game that we all love.

“All of the team at Staffordshire FA are continually humbled by the dedication, passion and enthusiasm of our grassroots volunteers, who are the backbone to the game and without whom it simply could not function in the way that it does. 

“Many congratulations to everyone involved in the recent presentations and a huge thank you from Staffordshire FA – not just to this year’s award winners, but to the thousands of volunteers across the county who are the heartbeat of grassroots football in Staffordshire.”